Looking for Budget Travel tips to New York, well you are right place. New York is one of the most exciting cities in the world, and it’s also one of the most expensive. If you’re looking to travel to New York on a budget, we’ve got some tips for you!
First, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. If your idea of a vacation is sitting around in your hotel room reading by yourself all day, that’s fine, but if you want some adventure and exploration (and who doesn’t?), then finding something that won’t break the bank is critical.
For example, take advantage of public transportation when possible. If you’d rather not walk everywhere as most New Yorkers do, try taking a bike tour or renting a Citi Bike (you can get discounts by buying through Groupon).
Or if you want to see more than just Manhattan but don’t want to spend money on taxis or Uber rides, hop on one of the ferries that run between Manhattan and Brooklyn or Staten Island.
You can also save money by shopping at Whole Foods instead of other grocery stores—they have great sales every week! And if you’re looking for entertainment options beyond Broadway shows (which are pretty expensive), check out some free events like theater productions at local community centers or museums where admission is free.
We’ve put together a list of our favorite things to do in New York on a budget so that you can make the most of your time there.
1. Book your flight early
The earlier you book your flight, the cheaper it will be. You can save up to $100 per ticket by booking early!
If you’re flexible with your travel dates, try searching for flights on the weekend. Airlines often offer cheaper flights during these times.
Pack light You don’t need to bring everything but the kitchen sink—just pack essentials like clothes, toiletries, and electronics. If you’re planning on shopping while in New York City (which we highly recommend), then pack a small bag that can fit under an airplane seat or use as carry-on luggage
2. Book your hotel early
If you’re going to be traveling in the summer, it might be best to book a room at least six months in advance so that you can get the best deal possible.
Hotels are more likely to offer lower prices during these times because they know there will be less competition for customers.
3. Stay in Brooklyn instead of Manhattan | Where to Stay
If you’re looking to save money while traveling, consider staying in Brooklyn over Manhattan. Sure, it might not have the same glitz and glamour as the city’s more famous borough, but that also means it’s cheaper! And there are plenty of things to do without breaking the bank.
Start your day at one of Brooklyn’s many farmer’s markets—they’re a great way to get some fresh produce and meet locals. If you’re into street art, head over to 5Pointz in Long Island City for some amazing pieces by local artists. You can even swing by the Wythe Hotel after you’ve seen them all—they have an amazing rooftop bar where they serve up cocktails from their own cocktail menu (which is inspired by street art).
If you need something more relaxing, visit Prospect Park or Botanic Garden. The latter has a gorgeous greenhouse filled with exotic plants from around the world; make sure you bring your camera! If you want something more active (and cheaper), try out one of Brooklyn’s many beaches (or take advantage of one of their many free events).
4. Take advantage of free museum days
New York has a ton of art museums, but they don’t all charge admission.
A lot of museums in New York offer free admission on certain days of the week and throughout the year.
The list is pretty long, so we’ve compiled a handy guide for you!
Here’s a list of the free days for some of our favorite museums:
The Brooklyn Museum: Sunday
- The Guggenheim Museum: Monday
- The Whitney Museum of American Art: Tuesday
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art (aka “the Met”): Thursday and Friday evenings after 5 pm
- MoMA PS1: First Saturday of every month
The New Museum: First Sunday of every month
5. Eat street food instead of restaurants
It’s pretty easy to find a good meal in New York. But if you’re trying to save money, eating at restaurants is expensive! Instead, try street food.
There are lots of great food trucks and carts that serve up delicious meals for cheap—and they’ll probably be better than whatever you’d get at a restaurant anyway.
One of the best places for cheap street food is Chinatown, which has an endless supply of dumplings and noodle soups that will fill you up without breaking your bank account.
If you’re in Midtown, try Bryant Park it’s filled with vendors selling everything from hot dogs to ice cream. If you’re near Union Square Park, check out the trucks selling tacos or falafel; they’re all under $5 each!
6. Use public transportation instead of taxis or Ubers
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is a public transportation system in New York City. It operates buses, subways, and ferries with most lines running 24 hours a day.
One can use either letter (A, B, C, etc.) or numbers to navigate the 24 lines in the subway system (1, 2, 3, etc.). The boroughs of Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens are all served by these lines. They have stopped all across Manhattan, linking the island’s upper and lower portions.
Between the five boroughs of New York City, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) operates 253 local bus lines and 71 express bus routes. Stops for buses have distinctive round, high signs that feature a bus company logo and route number, and they may be seen at most intersections.
A “Guide-A-Ride,” a sign showing the bus schedule and route map, is available at most stops.
Daily trains connect New York City with Long Island, Westchester, the Hudson Valley, and even Connecticut, so the MTA is a good option if you want to travel beyond the boroughs. Visit the New York City Transit Authority’s website for further details about the system and its schedules. visit the MTA website.
7. Stay in Hostels
Hostels are a great way to meet people worldwide while saving money on expensive hotels.
Hostels come in many different styles, but they all offer dorm rooms with shared bathrooms, kitchens for cooking and cleaning up after yourself, and laundry facilities if you need them.
Many hostels also provide free Internet access and Wi-Fi so that when you travel around New York City you can still stay in touch with those back home.
8. Take Advantage of Free Tours
There are tons of free tours available throughout the city, including food tours and walking tours that will help you discover new things about NYC without having to spend any money on transportation or admission fees! Check out this list of free tours offered by TripAdvisor for some ideas on what might interest you most!
9. Smartly Use Credit Cards with offers
Try using a credit card that offers cash-back rewards for all of your purchases while traveling! That way your trip doesn’t have to cost as much at the end of the day because everything is getting paid off with interest-free cash back rewards instead of charging it all on one card like usual!
And there you have it: the ultimate guide to budget travel to New York. We hope that it’s helpful and that you have a blast exploring this incredible city.
If you have any questions about the guide or about New York in general, feel free to reach out!